Mr Epidemiology

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I’m an Epidemiologist. Well, I’m learning how to be one – I’m currently doing my PhD at Queen’s University. Contrary to popular belief, that doesn’t mean I’m a skin doctor. Epidemiology is a broad field that encompasses methods and techniques used to address issues that affect populations. Or, put more eloquently “Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of disease, and disease related states, in a population of individuals.” In short – we study who is getting sick, what is making them sick, and how sick they are getting. You can replace “sick” with any health outcome there, and there’s an epidemiologist looking at it. We do other stuff too, but that’s a story for another day.

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  • July 29, 2011
  • 11:35 AM

Breakfast Skipping and Change in Body Mass Index in Young Children

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

As mothers everywhere know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, as scientists, we want empirical evidence. Breakfast has been associated with several health outcomes, ranging from increased academic performance, to improved quality of life, as well as enhanced dietary profiles. While many cross-sectional studies have found that those who skip breakfast are more [...]... Read more »

  • May 29, 2012
  • 12:29 PM

Guest Post: Dear (Food) Diary …

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

Mr Epidemiology: Today, I’m welcoming Natalie Causarano to the blog. You can find out more about Natalie at the end of this post. The summer is finally on its way, bringing us BBQs, cottages, and …wait for it…the often dreaded BATHING SUIT SEASON! That moment of truth when we must face the effects of our winter [...]... Read more »

  • July 15, 2011
  • 03:57 PM

Parental Perception of Child Weight Status

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it. - Chinese proverb Childhood obesity is a growing problem for our society. However, we are still trying to find effective methods of dealing with this public health concern. Some researchers have suggested that family based interventions could be the most effective way to [...]... Read more »

Jones AR, Parkinson KN, Drewett RF, Hyland RM, Pearce MS, & Adamson AJ. (2011) Parental perceptions of weight status in children: the Gateshead Millennium Study. International journal of obesity, 35(7), 953-962. PMID: 21673651  

  • August 22, 2011
  • 12:50 PM

The Use of Research in Public Health Decision Making Processes

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

As researchers, we hope that when politicians are making decisions about policy, they use our research to help ground their thinking. In Canada, CIHR (Canadian Institutes of Health Research), encourages researchers to make their work accessible, and has specific grant applications focused on Knowledge Translation (KT). Part of the trouble with evaluating whether or not [...]... Read more »

  • August 15, 2011
  • 01:25 PM

Perceived weight status, actual weight status and weight control

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

Obesity is accompanied by many health risks, including diabetes, heart disease and musculoskeletal problems. Small decreases in weight have been associated with decreases in the risk of these adverse health outcomes, however, sustained weight loss is incredibly difficult to accomplish. It has been well documented that people underestimate their height and weight (see my previous [...]... Read more »

  • August 12, 2011
  • 10:00 AM

History of Epidemiology: Jonas Salk and The Eradication of Polio

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

Better Know An Epidemiologist/History of Epidemiology is an ongoing feature where Mr Epidemiology pays tribute to people and studies who have set the stage for his generation of epidemiologists. All of the articles are listed here. Poliomyelitis is an infectious viral disease. It enters through the mouth and is usually spread by contaminated drinking water [...]... Read more »

  • July 18, 2011
  • 10:00 AM

Better Know An Epidemiologist: Alexander Langmuir

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

Better Know An Epidemiologist is an ongoing feature where Mr Epidemiology pays tribute to those who have set the stage for his generation of epidemiologists. All of the articles are listed here. Epidemiology is a relatively new field. While John Snow made his breakthrough in the 1850s, even as recently as World War 2, there [...]... Read more »

No authors listed. (1996) A tribute to Alexander D. Langmuir. American journal of epidemiology, 144(8 Suppl). PMID: 8928703  

Brachman PS. (1996) Alexander Duncan Langmuir. American journal of epidemiology, 144(8 Suppl). PMID: 8857846  

  • October 11, 2011
  • 01:36 PM

How many calories are in that burger?: Do our estimates become more accurate with labelling

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

 Recently, there has been a push to mandate labelling in fast food restaurants and stores. In the US, this is a huge initiative, passed as part of the 2010 Health Reform Bill (for another view on this, check out Dr Yoni Freedhoff’s post). This Bill mandated that all restaurants with more than 20 locations nationally [...]... Read more »

  • March 14, 2012
  • 09:30 AM

Guest Post: What determines health?

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

Mr Epidemiology: Today, I’m welcoming Lindsay Kobayashi to the blog. You can find out more about Lindsay at the end of this post. As epidemiologists, we are concerned with uncovering the factors in populations that determine who gets sick, who stays healthy, who lives, and who dies. Human life is inherently social, and looking toward our [...]... Read more »

World Health Organization. (2011) World Health Statistics 2011. Geneva: World Health Organization, 171. info:other/

Mikkonen J, & Raphael D. (2010) Social Determinants of Health: The Canadian Facts. Toronto: York University School of Health Policy and Management. info:/

  • September 7, 2011
  • 01:17 PM

Using Video Games to Model Real Life Outbreaks

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

Those of you who know me know that I’m a video game nerd. And comic book nerd. And just nerdy nerd in general. So when I read an article that used World of Warcraft to model disease outbreaks, I jumped on it. World of Warcraft is a MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) and [...]... Read more »

  • September 26, 2011
  • 10:00 AM

Do cartoons affect child attention spans?

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

I was on the phone with my mom recently, and she told me about a recent study she saw on CTV stating that watching SpongeBob Squarepants was bad for children. I scoured the internet, and found the research article in question. While searching, I also found reference to the study in the media. The headlines [...]... Read more »

  • February 21, 2012
  • 09:30 AM

Being active while watching television and other oxymorons

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

Sedentary behaviour is a growing problem in our society, and one that is now getting the media attention it deserves. It even has it’s own organization – the Sedentary Behaviour Research Network. Some researchers have tried to tackle this issue by promoting exercise while watching TV, although this approach has its critics. Part of the problem with [...]... Read more »

  • September 30, 2011
  • 10:00 AM

Attitudes to Publically Funded Obesity Treatment and Prevention

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

In countries where healthcare is funded by taxpayers, concerns over whether or not obesity treatment should be included under the umbrella of national healthcare is an ongoing concern. While this is also a concern in countries with private healthcare, in the public healthcare system the cost may be borne by society as a whole. Perhaps [...]... Read more »

Lund TB, Sandøe P, & Lassen J. (2011) Attitudes to publicly funded obesity treatment and prevention. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 19(8), 1580-5. PMID: 21512511  

  • October 3, 2011
  • 10:00 AM

Don’t call kids “obese”: Parental preferences for what you call their child

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

Obese youth are often stigmatized by society, and this stigmatization can have drastic, and long lasting consequences ranging from decreased self esteem to increased suicidal ideation. And for those youth who remain obese into adulthood, they also face worse employment, educational opportunities and even stigmatization by healthcare professionals. Knowing that obese youth face this sort [...]... Read more »

  • November 7, 2011
  • 10:00 AM

Blog Roundtable: How do you deal with criticism?

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

This blog roundtable is part of a series about graduate school – why do it, what is it like, and what to do afterwards. I encourage you to give your own opinions in the comments section, and if you disagree with a point made by the panel, voice your opinion! This is something a lot [...]... Read more »

Steinbrook R. (2009) The NIH stimulus--the recovery act and biomedical research. The New England journal of medicine, 360(15), 1479-81. PMID: 19357402  

  • January 10, 2012
  • 10:00 AM

History of Epidemiology: Patient Zero and Typhoid Mary

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

Better Know An Epidemiologist/History of Epidemiology is an ongoing feature where Mr Epidemiology pays tribute to people and studies that have set the stage for his generation of epidemiologists. All of the articles are listed here. Patient Zero is a common infectious disease epidemiology term. It refers to the first known case of the disease of [...]... Read more »

Soper GA. (1939) The Curious Career of Typhoid Mary. Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 15(10), 698-712. PMID: 19312127  

  • August 8, 2011
  • 10:00 AM

Longitudinal associations between biking to school and weight status

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

When I was your age, I walked 5 miles to school every day! Barefoot! Uphill! Both ways! In the snow!! – PhD Students to undergrads Active transportation, that is, biking, walking, rollerblading or skateboarding to school, has been shown to be associated with health benefits and increased energy expenditure. This varies from country to country [...]... Read more »

Bere E, Oenema A, Prins RG, Seiler S, & Brug J. (2011) Longitudinal associations between cycling to school and weight status. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, 6(3-4), 182-7. PMID: 21644849  

  • March 5, 2012
  • 10:00 AM

Romance is not a romantic comedy: The importance of good exposure measurement

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

If you live in Kingston, you may have come across this headline: Kingston, ON is the most romantic city in Canada Wonderful you think – after all, Kingston does have that small city charm, with lots of historical buildings, quaint little cafes and restaurants as well as being right on the water. Lots of romantic [...]... Read more »

  • October 14, 2011
  • 10:00 AM

Interview with Jonathan Smith, Director of “They Go To Die” Part 1: Background

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

Over the next week, I have the pleasure of welcoming Jonathan Smith, a recent graduate of the Yale School of Public Health, and a current lecturer in Global Health, to the Blog. Jonathan has been working on a documentary about his research entitled “They Go To Die“, and over the next week, I’ll have the [...]... Read more »

Stuckler, D., Basu, S., McKee, M., & Lurie, M. (2010) Mining and Risk of Tuberculosis in Sub-Saharan Africa. American Journal of Public Health, 101(3), 524-530. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.175646  

  • January 23, 2012
  • 09:30 AM

Twitter for Scientists: Or, How A Procrastination Tool Can Be Useful – Part 1

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

Twitter is a well known microblogging platform. People can post updates in the form of 140 character “tweets” that can be read by followers, who can “retweet,” i.e. repost that tweet to their own followers, or reply to the original post. I started using it about a year ago, and have found it to be [...]... Read more »

Culotta, A. (2010) Detecting influenza outbreaks by analyzing Twitter messages. Unpublished. info:/

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